Thursday, January 05, 2006

I've been looking at daycare centers for Max lately and this search has led to the expected tidal wave of emotion. It's easy to look from the surface of it and see the reason and logic of leaving your baby for a few hours a day with a care provider. I need to work. I need to study for exams. But that surge of guilt and responsibility to be home with him is strong and it has quite an undertow. I looked at a great place today that's affordable but it's in a sketchy neighborhood. So, we'll see.

I've moved on from reading Emily Dickinson to Walt Whitman and Hart Crane. This week though I've been reading Sappho again. In fact yesterday I read everything by her in a sort of binge reading (it's not much to brag about since not that much of her work survives and what does is mostly in fragments). Today, I've been reading Burnett's commentary on her poems. It is interesting that so many modern women writers either referred to Sappho in their poems (Emily Dickinson), or wrote letters to her (Amy Lowell) or responded to her fragments because the Sappho's poems were written as part of a type of creative writing class or as part of a finishing school for girls where writing good lyrical poetry was of the highest priority. Maybe it's not just that Sappho was one of the few female poets in the classical cannon, maybe modern female poets were responding to an almost pedagogical tone in her verse?

3 comments:

lucette said...

My daughters are starting to think about day care too--reluctantly, but it's a necessity. I was so lucky that my mother and mother-in-law watched my kids when I went back to school.

erieblue said...

What do you mean about the pedagogical tone? That Sappho was somehow instructive of being a poet? a woman? (Should I reverse the order of those two?)

Iris said...

I mean that because Sappho was writing the poems as part of the writing instruction she was giving the young girls, they have a pedagogical tone about being a poet (and perhaps, more specifically, about being a woman poet).